Teen Amateur Of The Week: Inspiring Before Expiring

Raul's fitness journey started when he was 15. His dad brought him to the gym and showed him the iron. Raul was fascinated. He learned everything he could and got shredded!

Name: Raul Cervantes
Email: team.rcfitness@yahoo.com
BodySpace: rcervantes15
Location: Atlanta, GA
Age: 19 Height: 5'6" Weight: 150 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 2

How Did Your Fitness Journey Begin?

My father introduced me to the gym when I was 15 years old. I weighed 125 pounds with 13 percent body fat. I was one of the small kids in school and didn't have the best genetics, but that wasn't going to stop me. When high school started, I wanted to be like my buddies; muscular with a nice physique. I saw results from weight training class, but I was still weak. My goal to become stronger and more confident kept me moving forward.

I played starting catcher on the varsity baseball team during my junior year, even though I was the smallest catcher on the team, I had great endurance and strength, but I wasn't satisfied with my body. Toward the end of my junior and beginning of my senior year, I lost some body fat and put on lean muscle mass. I decided to take it a step further and started reading about nutrition and exercise. I was hooked immediately.

Switching my diet and working hard in the gym allowed me to achieve what I always wanted. I ate cleaner during my senior year, but was far from perfect. I had some knowledge about proper nutrition and made the best of school food. I found that bringing lunch was the way to go.

Since the day my father introduced me to fitness, I knew this is where I belonged. Senior year of high school was when I started taking bodybuilding seriously. My journey to become more aesthetic and fit was under construction.

My fitness journey carried over into college. I was 18 years old and weighed 145 pounds with 9.8 percent body fat. I gained knowledge and experience from trainers and Bodybuilding.com. I was on the right track to lean muscle mass and lower body fat.

Now, I'm a sophomore in college and still improving. I weigh 150 pounds with 4.7 percent body fat. My diet is much better and my workout ethic is 110 percent, but I'm still only scratching the surface. I'm learning something new every day; a new exercise to target a muscle in a different way, a new way to prepare food for my body, and different ways to avoid injury. Still going strong, working out, eating clean, and inspiring before expiring.

What Workout Regimen Delivered The Best Results?
Day 1: Quads/Calves

Warm-up

    • Stairmaster Stairmaster

      Stairmaster

      10 min

Exercise

    • Barbell Squat Barbell Squat

      Barbell Squat

      3 sets of 15 reps, 2 drop sets to failure

Superset

    • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

      Leg Extensions

      3 sets of 15 reps
    • Leg Press Leg Press

      Leg Press

      3 sets of 15 reps

Resume regular sets

  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

    Standing Calf Raises

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

    Seated Calf Raise

    4 of 15-8 reps
  • Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine

    Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine

    4 sets of 10-8 reps
Day 2: Chest/Biceps
    • Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press

      Dumbbell Bench Press

      4 sets of 15 reps
    • Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press

      Incline Dumbbell Press

      4 sets of 15 reps

Superset

    • Cable Crossover Cable Crossover

      Cable Crossover

      4 sets to failure
    • Pushups Pushups

      Pushups

      4 sets to failure

Resume regular sets

  • Barbell Curl Barbell Curl

    Barbell Curl

    5 sets of 10 reps
  • Standing Biceps Cable Curl Standing Biceps Cable Curl

    Standing Biceps Cable Curl

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Curl Seated Dumbbell Curl

    Seated Dumbbell Curl

    4 sets of 15 reps
Day 3: Cardio
  • Jogging-Treadmill Jogging-Treadmill

    Jogging-Treadmill

    20 min HIIT
Day 4: Shoulder/Triceps
  • Standing Military Press Standing Military Press

    Standing Military Press

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Seated Side Lateral Raise Seated Side Lateral Raise

    Seated Side Lateral Raise

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Crossover Cable Crossover

    Cable Crossover

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown Triceps Pushdown

    Triceps Pushdown (EZ-Bar)

    5 sets of 10 reps
  • Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown

    Reverse Grip Triceps Pushdown

    4 sets of 10 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

    Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment

    5 sets to failure
  • Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension

    Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension

    4 sets of 10 reps
Day 5: Hamstrings/Calves
  • Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

    Seated Leg Curl

    5 sets of 15-8 reps (drop set)
  • Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls

    Lying Leg Curls

    5 sets of 15-8 reps (drop set)
  • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

    Dumbbell Walking Lunges

    4 sets of 10-15 meters
  • Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

    Standing Calf Raises

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

    Seated Calf Raise

    4 of 15-8 reps
  • Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine

    Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine

    4 sets of 10-8 reps
Day 6: Back
  • Chin-Up Chin-Up

    Chin-Up

    6 sets to failure
  • Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown

    Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

    Seated Cable Rows (Wide-grip)

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift

    Barbell Deadlift

    4 sets of 15-8 reps (drop set)
Day 7: Rest

Note: I keep my rest periods to 30-45 seconds at the most. I try to keep my heart rate up and add intensity so I do cardio while I workout.

What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?
Meal 1
  • oatmeal

    Oatmeal

    1 cup

  • eggs

    Egg Whites

    6

  • almonds

    Almond Butter

    1 tbsp

Meal 2
  • chicken breast

    Chicken Breast

    6 oz

  • brown rice

    Brown Rice

    1 cup

  • asparagus

    Asparagus

    1 cup

Meal 3
  • turkey

    Ground Turkey

    6 oz

  • pasta

    Whole-Grain Pasta

    1 cup

  • broccoli

    Broccoli

    1 cup

Meal 4: Pre-workout
  • banana

    Banana

    1

  • almond milk

    Almond Milk

    2 cups

  • coffee

    Instant Coffee

    1 tbsp

Meal 5: Post-workout
  • tilapia

    Tilapia

    6 oz

  • spinach

    Spinach

    1 cup

Meal 6
  • yogurt

    Greek Yogurt w/ Granola, Blueberries, and Raspberries

    1 cup

What Supplements Gave You An Edge?
With Breakfast
Mid-afternoon/Pre-workout
Afternoon/Post-Workout

How Did Your Passion For Fitness Emerge?

I can workout while having fun, which drives me. People say it's too hard or too far to go to the gym. I don't know what those people are taking about. I can't wait to go train every day. Bodybuilding requires sacrifice like everything else in life. You have to give up things to dedicate time in the gym. It's a lifestyle, not a hobby.

What/Who Motivated You To Be A Fitness Guru?

People have always been a part of motivation for me. When I see my advice working for others, it motivates and shows me what I'm doing must be right. I have an Instagram account (@r_cervantes) where many followers come to like and comment on my photos.

They tell me how my advice gave them nutritional tips and showed them how to workout. My family shows support and stays beside me on my journey to a better physique. Seeing results from the dedication and hard work motivates me.

Where Did You Go For Inspiration?

When I felt down or tired, I looked at my sports water bottle, which has several inspirational quotes written on it with sports tape around the fattest part of the bottle. I can look at the motivational quotes and remember why I started. My favorite is by Muhammad Ali: "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'don't quit.' Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."

What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?

I want to compete in the NPC, become a trainer, and help others. Who knows where fitness can take me. I want to be a doctor in physical therapy. I'm currently studying exercise and health science. I'll always be happy as long as I do what I enjoy most.

What Is The Most Important Fitness Tip?

The most important fitness tip is to rest. You grow when you rest. Have set rest days to recuperate from the stresses on your body. You probably can work out for hours and hours, but you're harming yourself instead of doing good to your body.

Don't over-train. Set your workout days and rest days to your best accommodation. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. No one wants to fail. Stick with it, be smart, and you will grow.

Who Is Your Favorite Competitor?

Rob Riches is one of my favorite competitors. There are many who I look up to and admire, but I really like Rob's approach to the sport. He's a humble guy who's willing to help and give advice to others. Right beside him is Greg Plitt. He motivates me with speeches and his dedication for bodybuilding.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

Bodybuilding.com has helped immensely with my supplementation. I like to keep my supplements simple and know exactly what I'm getting. The site has a simple and well-developed interface to find supplements by ingredients, brands, or fitness goals. The articles on the site for workouts and nutrition are extremely helpful. The article section is the way to go.